When you arrive at the long queue outside the Accademia in Florence, just keep on walking. (After all, there’s a perfectly good copy of the Michelangelo David in the Piazza della Signoria just down the road.) Cross the Piazza di San Marco and join the much shorter queue at the Museo San Marco, once the monastery of San Marco. 
  This really is an extraordinary place. Savanarola brooded here on the sins of the world, as he saw them. In the church next door, the Piagnoni trembled as he warned of the impending apocalypse.  Climb the stairs to the monks’ cells, and there ahead of you is perhaps the greatest image of the Annunciation ever painted – this fresco by Fra Angelico. Climbing those stairs is one of the most moving experiences in all art.

The Annunciation is the story of the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, and his message to her. This study explores this theme, and the many ways it has been presented.


Early history
The story unfolds
Why is Gabriel nearly always on the left?
Symbols 1 - living things

Symbols 2 - Props and Bric-a-brac
The other woman

Other people
Old Testament echoes
Mythological analogies
Case study: The Annunciation with Saint Emidius, by Carlo Crivelli

Further reading

The Life of the Virgin page1
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